Plans to renovate or rebuild Watertown High School cleared a major hurdle Wednesday when State officials voted to move the project to the next step — doing a feasibility study and create a schematic design
The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) Board voted at a meeting held in Boston on Wednesday. The WHS project now moves to the second step in a series of eight. The School Building Committee will hire an owner’s project manager to oversee the design and construction, and hire a project designer.
Watertown Superintendent Dede Galdston announced vote on Wednesday in a statement in which she wrote:
I am pleased to share with you that the Massachusetts School Building Authority unanimously voted to invite the Watertown High School building project into Feasibility at their board meeting today. In attendance were Senator Brownsberger, Mark Sideris, Michael Driscoll, Shirley Lundberg, Heidi Perkins, Steve Magoon and me.
The next step in the process is the selection of the Owner’s Project Manager which will begin soon. Once the OPM is in place, the designer will be selected through the MSBA’s Designer Selection Panel process. These steps are considered Module 2, which should be complete within four to six months.
This is great news for our community!
The MSBA’s vote came after the Town Council voted to spend up to $1.6 million on an owner’s project manager and to hire a designer at a meeting in late November. At that meeting, Galdston showed what she called a “best case scenario” timeline, in which students and staff would move into the new school in the fall of 2023.
A feasibility study will be created, which will include examining possible locations for the school and what the new construction and/or renovation will include.
Once officials know what the project will entail, they can get a price estimate. The Town will get reimbursed around 47 percent of the cost by the State, and Watertown voters will be asked to approve borrowing funds to pay for the rest by passing at Proposition 2 1/2 debt exclusion during a Town Election.
If the money is approved, the final designs will be drawn up, and the school would be constructed.